Peter has created a number of short practical booklets on aspects of family business, which you can access here.
Everything you need to know practically about creating and evolving a family council – from strategic goals, governance structures and relationship with the business to functions and operational issues.
By anticipating challenges before they arise and agreeing how they should best be handled, succession need not be a fraught process. A short introduction to a subject covered in more detail in the companion guide, Succession Management in Family Companies.
It is an odd fact of family business life that many things are said which mean something completely different. A slightly tongue-in-cheek look at what people say in family businesses – and what they really mean.
Some simple do’s and don’ts to deal with four challenges that are common to all family businesses: communication, employing family members, the management of change, and transferring the business to the next generation.
Family businesses face serious challenges staying objective and avoiding introversion. Building outside influences into the fabric of governance and management is one of the most important ways of countering these tendencies.
An unstructured approach to managing employee resources can work in very small family firms where the owner can be involved personally in all aspects of the business. But for larger enterprises - and indeed smaller ones that wish to grow - more organised methods and clear policies are essential.
The willingness of family business owners to plan for their succession is often a decisive factor in determining whether the business will survive or fail in the long term. Succession can confront owners with a complex set of practical options and difficult commercial decisions. Planning is everything.
Effective family governance requires points of contact between the family and the enterprise to enable discussion of the complicated (and often emotional) family, ownership and business issues that confront mature family businesses. Governance, however, is only part of the answer and only a start to the journey.
To avoid splits and tensions, families must have clear lines of communication and develop a cohesive approach to the business. There are no rights and wrongs, or hard and fast rules here: it is commitment that matters.
© Peter Leach Associates 2020